Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Feinstein Embraces “Pearl Harbor Style” Legislating


Radical environmentalists have realized that they cannot win a public debate arguing that a two-inch bait fish is more important than families in the San Joaquin Valley and are scrambling for a new message. They are also crafting a sneak attack to take control of our water.

The Left’s need to re-image the Delta water debate is particularly desperate due to a ruling in the U.S. District Court which rebuked the federal government as having used “sloppy science” to justify the man-made drought. Judge Oliver Wanger ordered federal agencies back to the drawing board.

However, the Left is already pressing ahead with its backup plan with the help of Senator Dianne Feinstein. That plan is concealed in massive $1.1 trillion federal spending bill for 2012 and would designate the entire Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta as a National Heritage Area. If it becomes law, the Heritage designation would establish a new federal mandate to protect the natural, scenic, historic, cultural, and recreational resources of the Delta - a thinly veiled effort to cut off valley water supplies.

Feinstein’s controversial proposal is opposed by water users, farmers, and rural communities. They understand that National Heritage Areas create another layer of government between water rights owners and the government who controls delivery. Many others would also raise concerns if they knew Congress was considering the creation of this new National Heritage Area. However Democratic leaders, at the request of Senator Feinstein, are working to bypass public debate. They want to sneak the Heritage designation into law by air-dropping it into the nearly two thousand page Fiscal Year 2012 Omnibus Appropriations bill (see page 880).

The action taking place this week is particularly outrageous coming from Senator Feinstein, who just over a year ago came unhinged when Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) tried to restore Delta pumping through an amendment on the Senate Floor.

Senator DeMint’s amendment came in the light of day and was subject to both a full public debate as well as a separate vote. Yet Senator Feinstein persisted in describing it as a “Pearl Harbor” style of legislating (see the outrageous video here).

What a difference an election makes. With her allies losing power in the House, Feinstein apparently has changed her view on sneak attacks.